The Modwright Tryst – CanJam SoCal 2016

Tryst Headphone Amplifier

There is no shortage of traditional 2 channel, tube-centric amplifier manufacturers throwing in their hand at the personal audio. But it appears that many have been unable to avoid getting stuck in the “working on it” phase, or entered the market with little to no promotion to give the little entries a fighting chance. Daniel Wright of Modwright Instruments has already successfully cleared both hurdles with his newest addition to the family dubbed the Tryst ($3k).


Simply launching the product at an event like CanJam shows some excellent maneuvering within the marketing “Ps” as does the feature set. From the company site:

“We designed the unit with two source inputs, two preamp outputs for use as a preamp or with other powered desktop speakers, etc. Outputs include 1/4″ stereo, IEM (mini stereo) and 4 pin XLR balanced outputs. The circuit is all tube, interstage and output transformer coupled with custom hand-wound transformers from Jack Elliano at Electraprint Audio.

Power supply is external and SS rectified and choke current regulated.
Tube Complement: (2) 6922, (4) 12B4 – all NOS.
Circuit Design: PP transformer coupled with zero negative feedback and pure Class A operation.

Controls include input select: Mute, I, II. Volume (noble pot). IEM only enabled when 1/4″ Jack has headphones or 1/4″ Jack adaptor installed. MWI caps and top quality shielded wire throughout to insure absolute quiet performance. Power supply is fully external for the same reason, with custom WyWires umbilical connecting supply to amp (3ft).”


Yes, that is a 3.5mm jack embedded in the front of a large sexy tube amp. Each piece can be made to order so plenty of add on options exist including custom finishes, wiring and internal component upgrades. The amplifier is quite beastly (in a good way) and operates with the help of an external power supply that takes up nearly the same amount of real estate as the main cabinet.


The front panel covers nearly every scenario with a 1/4″, the previously mentioned 3.5mm and a 4 pin balanced headphone out all running in parallel. 3W into 18 ohms gives the big guy plenty of punch and the overall tone at the show was very pleasant through a pair of Mr.Speakers Ether headphones and WyWires cabling. The entire operation seem to conjure up fond memories of the old Eddie Current Balancing Act amplifier in a way, and the positive sentiment followed just the same. The new amp is available as of now and Daniel is taking requests via the Modwright site.

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